Table of Contents
Molecular Biology International
Volume 2012, Article ID 598984, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/598984
Review Article

Genotoxicity Studies Performed in the Ecuadorian Population

Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de las Américas, Ave. de los Granados y Colimes Quito, 1712842, Ecuador

Received 3 February 2011; Revised 25 November 2011; Accepted 5 December 2011

Academic Editor: Mark Berneburg

Copyright © 2012 César Paz-y-Miño et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Genotoxicity studies in Ecuador have been carried out during the past two decades. The focuses of the research were mainly the area of environmental issues, where the populations have been accidentally exposed to contaminants and the area of occupational exposure of individuals at the workplace. This paper includes studies carried out in the population of the Amazon region, a zone known for its rich biodiversity as well as for the ecological damage caused by oil spills and chemical sprayings whose consequences continue to be controversial. Additionally, we show the results of studies comprised of individuals occupationally exposed to toxic agents in two very different settings: flower plantation workers exposed to pesticide mixtures and X-ray exposure of hospital workers. The results from these studies confirm that genotoxicity studies can help evaluate current conditions and prevent further damage in the populations exposed to contaminants. As such, they are evidence of the need for biomonitoring employers at risk, stricter law enforcement regarding the use of pesticides, and increasingly conscientious oil extraction activities.